Last Updated Nov 7, 2019 7:27 PM EST
Under tight security Thursday, hundreds of people gathered for the first funeral for the nine American women and childrenin Mexico this week. A mother and her two sons were laid to rest, and more will be buried in the coming days.
The first victims of the ambush to be laid to rest were carried in coffins handmade by relatives, tailored to the small bodies of those who are gone: 2-year-old Rogan, 11-year-old Trevor and their mother, Dawna Langford, were buried. The six others will be laid to rest in their home towns.
Outside the funeral, there was a heavy police presence.
The horror of the massacre is palpable in voice messages family member Kendra Lee Miller sent to others. The messages were first obtained by CNN.
"Dear God, everybody pray. Officers just came and said my mom's suburban is blown up, up on the — by the hill. Everyone, please pray," they said. "Dear God, pray for us all."
Robert LeBaron traveled for the funerals. "If we can't protect our women and children, you're no longer a country," he said.
While Mexican officials believe the attack was a case of mistaken identity in a shootout between rival cartels, some family members — who say they've been threatened before — believe they were targeted.
For the eight children who survived the attack, the physical healing will come before the emotional. Family members released a, who is recovering from a shot to the chest and a grazed wrist. Seven-month-old Faith, who lost her mother in the attack, is now back with her father.